Just got home from the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy, leaving out of Miami. We got lucky at all our transportation exchanges, plane to ground transfer, cabs, busses, trains, all just about to leave when we got on.
On board the ship, they spared no opportunity to try and sell you things including the bottled water. The food was okay, but frankly, my wife is a better cook. Our take on the Carnival experience is that it is more "pop" oriented, loud music, all the pizza you can eat 24/7, etc. We went into the piano bar expecting west coast cool jazz and soothing classical music, but instead it was loud Billy Joel covers and requests for crowd participation.
Key West was a good stop on the way west, and we toured the Hemingway House. That was interesting, and we like cats, so everything there was good to us. We passed "Sloppy Joe's Bar" on a tour bus, but didn't go in there. Apparently the original bar was across the street.
We also docked at Cozumel Mexico, where we rented a beach house with a chef, and private beach. My wife went out on a kayak while I sat with a new friend drinking real tequila and piña colada's. The food was great, and there were only 8 of us there. I think that was my favorite part of the cruise. It was so beautiful and felt secluded and tranquil.
There was a LOT of walking on this trip, and I'm proud to say that hips gave me no pain, one of them is artificial (cobalt chromium steel with a titanium shaft.) Security was tight at the Miami International airport. I got x-rayed, patted down, hands swabbed, but really no pain. I'm glad for the security. I would say that airport traffic on Labor Day was very sparse in ATL, our MD-80 was full on the way back from MIA.
It helped that they had satellite internet on the ship, so I was able to check in to our Delta flight home a day prior to leaving. That saved a lot of time. I had chosen our seats going and coming before we left home.
All in all, a good trip. Next time perhaps we'll switch back to Royal Caribbean.